Obituary of Henry J. Cummings, Jr.
Please share a memory of Henry to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Henry J. "Harry" Cummings, Jr., age 87, of Laurel Springs NJ, passed away at home on Friday, October 29, 2021, surrounded by his family. Henry was born in Camden NJ, and later lived in Cherry Hill NJ.
Henry is survived by his beloved wife Dorothea M. (Darcy) Cummings (nee Freiermuth), and children, Eric J. Cummings, Christopher J. Cummings (Michelle Busillo) and Miriam "Mimi" Macko (Richard); his grandchildren Lauren and Richard Macko, Vincenzo and Gianna Busillo, and Tamara Watson (Thomas), and his great-grandchildren Ellie, Jack, Sadie and Maeve Watson. Dear brother of Sarah Ellen Lamonica (Joseph). He was predeceased by his parents Henry J. Sr, and Sarah (nee Winstanley) Cummings, and his brothers, Richard and Edward, and brother-in-law Mark Thelin (Sarah).
Henry was a world class husband, father, poppy and grandpoppy. He could build and repair anything: model train sets, airplanes, bikes, go-carts, double-decker forts, doll houses and a small playhouse for Mimi, weird Seuss-like contraptions made of old bicycle and wagon parts. He was a Cub and Boy Scout leader, camper, and day tripper. He instilled in his children a love of gardening and fixing things. When his sons were in their teens, he taught them how to take apart and put back together junker cars. At one time they had five cars in various stages of repair in their back yard. When he was cited by Cherry Hill Township for “Running a Common Junkyard,” he went to court and proved all the cars were legally registered and part of an educational project. The charges were dismissed. He loved Star Island, a Unitarian retreat in New Hampshire, where the family stayed for a week or two each summer.
When they met at the Oaklyn Dancette in 1954, Henry (19) and Darcy (16, a senior in high school) discovered they had much in common. They loved going to museums, eating out and taking adventurous trips. They both had loving and supportive mothers and difficult fathers. They both wanted to attend art school, but had no money. They promised they would support each other to get an education as artists—he a painter, she eventually, a writer. He did everything he could to help his wife get a degree(s), and with a friend he took art classes at night for many years at the Philadelphia College of Art, later discovering the pottery courses at Camden County College and eventually becoming a prize winning potter/ceramist. He was a feminist long before most people knew the word. He shared the housework, bathed babies, and for years made huge pancake, French toast, and bacon and egg breakfasts on the week-ends. Every one welcome. He was even-tempered and a peacemaker; she had a short fuse and was argumentative, but they balanced each other.
After being drafted in 1956, Henry was trained in the Army school for radar repair, and was later stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he never repaired a radar, but spent a lot of time repairing TVs on the Base and for the officers. He and a small group of other draftees under his charge spent much time in a warehouse for radar equipment, and played cards, and watched a TV that He had found in the Base trash area and repaired. Despite occasional guard duty, marching, and drills, he thoroughly enjoyed his time in the service.
Henry worked for RCA (which later became GE, Martin Marietta, then Lockheed Martin), for over fifty years, starting his career as an electronics instructor at the Camden plant, then at Cherry Hill, where he managed a number of facilities and made many good friends.
A quiet, gentle, talented, strong, mischievous and generous man, he lived an admirable life and was loved by many.
Relatives and friends are invited to pay their respects to the family on Saturday afternoon from 12:00PM to 2:00PM at the DANKS-HINSKI FUNERAL HOME, 125 N. WHITE HORSE PIKE LINDENWOLD NJ 08021. To leave lasting condolences or photos, please use the links on this page